AA Insurance

Flood bill won't help everyone

20 November 2009

Plans outlined in the Flood and Water Management Bill published by Defra on 19th November will still leave homes throughout the country at risk of flooding.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, says: "The coincidence of the Bill's publication on the very day that Cumbria and other parts of Northern England and Scotland were deluged is a stark reminder of the growing risk that British homeowners face from changing weather patterns.

"The Bill outlines many welcome measures to protect those most at risk from flooding, especially giving local authorities additional flood risk investment powers and some progress has been made since the 2007 floods.

"But insurers are dealing with growing numbers of weather-related claims from home owners in places where there is little or no history of flooding. No amount of legislation can prevent unexpected flash floods."

The Cumbrian disaster underlines the importance of home insurance and business insurance. "But the insurance industry reacts admirably when disaster strikes as was demonstrated in 2007," Douglas says.

"Home insurance can't do anything about the heartache and disruption families and small businesses suffer in the great clear-up following such devastation. But knowing that your insurer will step in and sort out the expense and practical problems of making homes habitable again can be a major relief.

"However, I am concerned that many homeowners may be without cover, especially in the light of evidence earlier this year that up to a fifth of homeowners were considering not renewing their cover1 to help ends meet during the recession."

Douglas added that insurers place a very high priority on ensuring that disaster claims are promptly met and will do everything they can to help families and businesses recover.

"Customers should take whatever action is necessary to protect their property and contact their insurer immediately and, as a leading home insurance broker, the AA is working with its own insurers to ensure customers get immediate advice and practical assistance to help them over the worst."

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3 December 2009

1 Source: Association of British Insurers, survey published 6 June 2009: 22 per cent of householders said they were considering not renewing or cancelling their home insurance to cut their outgoings